NHRA: Rain washes out Friday’s first two rounds of qualifying four 4-Wide Nationals

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Rain washed out Friday’s first two rounds of qualifying for this weekend’s 6th annual NHRA 4-Wide Nationals at zMAX Dragway in Concord, N.C.

As a result, instead of the usual four qualifying rounds split equally between Friday and Saturday, Sunday’s final elimination field will be determined just by Saturday’s two qualifying sessions.

Rain began early Friday morning and continued throughout the day, with both lingering scattered showers and mist keeping officials from drying the racetrack.

“It is tough to lose a day of qualifying at any race,” two-time and defending 4-Wide Nationals Funny Car champ Robert Hight said. “It is especially tough at the Four-Wide Nationals when you have to be prepared to run in any of the four lanes on race day.

“We will do our best tomorrow to get some data and more importantly put on a good show for these fans.”

Weather permitting, the revised schedule for Saturday will begin at 8 am ET for sportsman qualifying and time trials.

Track officials expect cool and dry conditions for the remainder of the weekend, according to an NHRA media release.

Qualifying sessions for the three NHRA pro classes – Top Fuel, Funny Car and Pro Stock – on Saturday are slated for 1:15 and 4:15 pm ET.

Sunday’s final eliminations are scheduled for 1 pm ET.

According to zMAX Dragway officials, “fans with Friday tickets can present their ticket stub for a 100 percent credit toward Saturday or Sunday tickets, tickets to the 2015 NHRA Carolina Nationals in September or Friday of the 2016 NHRA 4-Wide Nationals.”

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Santino Ferrucci will drive No. 14 for AJ Foyt Racing full time in 2023 IndyCar season

Santino Ferrucci AJ Foyt
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Santino Ferrucci will return to full-time racing in the NTT IndyCar Series next season, joining AJ Foyt Racing.

Ferrucci had made eight IndyCar starts with three teams since his last full-time season in 2020 while also racing part time in the NASCAR Xfinity Series this year.

He will drive the storied No. 14 Dallara-Chevrolet for four-time Indy 500 winner A.J. Foyt’s team, which will field the car from its Waller, Texas headquarters.

“It’s incredibly exciting to be back in the INDYCAR Series full time,” Ferrucci said in a team release. “Being a part-time driver over the last two years has been hard for me, personally. I’m a race car driver, and I want to compete. Working with different teams has been exciting, and I’m proud that no matter which car I’ve raced, I’ve always shown speed and consistency. I couldn’t be more excited to join AJ Foyt Racing in the 14 Chevy. I can’t wait to make the best of it.”

Ferrucci, 24, had finished a career-best fourth in IndyCar four times, including the 104th Indy 500 in 2020. He was the 2019 Indy 500 rookie of the year with a sixth.

In nine Xfinity starts since 2021, Ferrucci has a career-best finish of 13th at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

“I am thrilled to welcome Santino to the team,” Larry Foyt said in a release. “He’s shown a knack for getting toward the front of the field, and I think he is a racer who moves forward on race day. A.J. sees the fire in him and has enjoyed their meetings together. I think Santino’s experience will help his rookie teammate as well, so he is a great addition to our roster.”

Ferrucci will be teamed at AJ Foyt Racing with Benjamin Pedersen, who finished fifth in the 2022 Indy Lights standings. The team has yet to specify the number for Pedersen’s entry, which will be fielded out of its Indianapolis race shop.

Foyt’s two full-time drivers last season were Dalton Kellett and Kyle Kirkwood, who is moving to Andretti Autosport.